Romanian composer Violeta Dinescu’s new album (her third for Sargasso), is a new flute solo project written for her long-term collaborator and virtuoso flautist Ionut Bogdan Ștefănescu. ‘Sarpelecupene’, or ‘Feathered Serpent’ in Roma- nian, is a collection of six pieces mainly for solo Alto flute playing over pre-recorded layers of flutes (from 16 to a staggering 32). Apart from the Alto flute, also present are traditional folk wind instruments such as the Sona, the Tiuga and even a Kazoo.
Each of the six pieces represents a unique sonic landscape. The overall effect akin to the slow transformations found in nature. Folk influences, not only from Romania but other cultures such as India, China and Japan, create a sense of global traditions that inform Dinescu’s contemporary vocabulary. The dialogue between the solo instruments and the ethereal layered backdrop is a journey from the turbulent to the peaceful, reminiscent of the hard-to-translate Romanian feeling of ‘dor’: a mixture of longing, pain, love, resignation, and disappointment. The overlapping of worldwide ancient folklore common elements together with the suggestion of an Asian or Byzantine cult music, engenders a ‘wail’ in which the whole of humanity takes part.
Flautist Ion Ștefănescu is one of the most respected contemporary interpreters of his generation, specializing virtuoso pieces using extended flute techniques. Having studied and taught in Bucharest, he is a founder member of important Romanian contemporary music groups including ProContemporania, Pro l and Barock Orchestra. Over the years, Ștefănescu has been invited to countless international festivals and has received numerous international awards, being acclaimed by such musicians and composers of the caliber of James Galway, Ph.D. Doina Rotaru and Dr. Octavian Nemescu.
Born in 1953 in Bucharest, Dinescu studied music and composition before moving to Germany in 1982. She became Professor for Applied Composition at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg in 1996. Dinescu’s works in- cludes compositions in a wide variety of genres; from music theatre, ballets, silent-film music and vocal music, from solo works to large orchestral pieces. She has received numerous scholarships, awards and prizes for her compositions.
1. Sarpelecupene I – 12:02
2. Sarpelecupene II – 8:18
3. Sarpelecupene III – 15:06
4. Sarpelecupene IV – 10:16
4. Sarpelecupene V – 9:33
4. Sarpelecupene VI – 11:13
Flutes: Ion Bogdan Stefanescu
Recorded: Deutschlandfunk (Köln), 2015
Recording Engineer: Stephan Schmidt (DLF Köln)
Sound Engineer: Florin Tudor (SRR Bucharest)
Also available as downloads: